Civil War Photography – Alexander Gardner

Civil War Photography – Alexander Gardner


[Music plays] Alexander Gardner was a photographer working for Mathew Brady who came to the battlefield starting 2 days after the battle. He spent 4 days here and took about 70 images on plates of glass. He was the person that had to deal with all the danger and the trials and tribulations of having a horse-drawn photographic lab to cart around the countryside and he took all of the photos that we now have of the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam. Gardner’s photos, which of course Mathew Brady got the credit for were the eyeopening images that brought the reality and the horrors of the battlefield to the noncombatants back home Before this, war was seen through paintings and sketches and most of them were kind of glorious images of grand charges and flags and to see these mangled bodies in particularly the rows of dead that appear in some of his images was shocking to the public- very shocking. The easiest way to say it is that this is the birth of photojournalism It’s the first time that photographs of a battlefield before the dead were buried were scene by anyone That’s when politicians and others realized the importance of photography. What I find fascinating is that on one particular day after the Battle of Antietam September 19th, 1862 You had on the same portion of the battlefield That section called the Sunken Road or the Bloody Lane two men, who were trying to capture images but doing it in two entirely different ways You had the artist correspondent of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Frank Schell sitting on a hillside doing a from-life sketch and then, not too far away you had Alexander Gardner with the new technology of photography capturing Confederate dead in the Sunken Road before they were pulled out and put in the burial trenches and I just think that’s pretty interesting to see that you had the old means of recording to be printed in a newspaper and you have the new technology of photography both at the same time, on the same day, same place. It really emotionally had quite an impact. When that display was put on in New York City they had the exhibition two weeks after the battle ‘The Dead of Antietam’ People were lined up down the street to see it. Front page news, New York Tribune One things that the tribune got right was what the impact was to the families and the people that were affected by this battle. People saw what this battle did to their brothers, their fathers, their sons. and the best line of all was how the reporter said that broken hearts cannot be photographed

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    Bruce Burns

    All because Lincoln was a man in a hurry , it could of been done in a more timely manner to give the southern states time to readjust their economy , but no Lincoln wanted to go down in history like all politicians .

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    Robin GSNR

    lincoln
    i was but a man of Kentucky and my rise from that place history will judge me as i may from this place i now sit and i can in thought judge fairly those that pass before my gaze, my deep expression and features would seem i was moulded by the very events of my life and each line in my face the very mountains i have climbed within me and of the place where i was born i am but the self taught man who hankered to bring a wisdom to my fellow men and to move by understanding to unite our great nation and indite those who oppose by political dogma and who's unwillingness to give ground and by this seek to defeat by war with no wish to find an understanding of another's view, my ears now will hear the sound of battle and not the debate of reasoned men and this will ring in my ears for a thousand years by a civil war that divided this nation and will forever echo such divisions still held within all the flags of our nation

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    larry samhat

    Control of the "free" press in America has been a priority of the US military since Viet Nam. They now demand oversight of battlefield reporting, and the "right" to suppress reporting in the name of "security".

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    Phillip Smitj

    Abe was a little too magnanimous for this African Americans taste. Jefferson Davis should have been hung twice once for Sedition treason and crimes against humanity second time like Mussolini just for Grins and Giggles. Not disarming the rebels after the war just prearmed Jim Crow.

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    JW Pev

    Photos flash by too fast to appreciate the historic photography. Next time give the viewer an opportunity to actually view the photos.

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